Online Daters Most Likely to Misrepresent Weight and Physical Appearance in Profiles - Online Personals Watch: News on the Online Dating Industry and Business

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James Houran

Hi all,

It is questionable that respondents to such surveys would actually admit to lying about more serious issues due to social desirability biases, but these results do echo some findings from academic studies.

For example, in a clever series of experiments McKenna and colleagues showed that individuals meeting for the first time online are more likely to reveal their “true selves” (who they really think they are) rather than their “actual selves” (how they think they should be seen). Thus, "little white lies" are not always meant to mislead but rather are sometimes a reflection of an individual trying to sell themselves in the best possible light. Of course, I do not advocate misrepresenting oneself to any degree on objective issues like weight or height. Obviously issues like "how attractive I am" are very subjective. If individuals really want to attract the right person, then s/he should be upfront and honest in their profiles about their physical characteristics.

To be sure, McKenna's research also shows that people tend to like each other more when they first meet over the Internet, as opposed to face-to-face. Finally, by researching actual Web users, the psychologists found that deep relationships do form over the Internet. When those online relationships are integrated into one’s real world social life, they remain stable over time -indeed, often proving more long-lived than relationships formed through face-to-face introductions.


James Houran, Ph.D.
Chief Psychologist,

Mark Geller


TrueDater's goal is to provide the maximum benefit for daters as well as dating sites by fostering a free, anonymous feedback community emphasizing openness and honesty in online dating. Reponse to the growth of the site has been extremely positive. We are exploring co-marketing partnerships with the dating sites to promote the service to their users.


Mark Geller

Fernando Ardenghi

Please see this:

Social Roles in Electronic Communities [pdf]


It could be of great interest.

Kindest Regards,
Fernando Ardenghi.
Buenos Aires.
[email protected]

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